The Call by planet p

Disclaimer I don't own Anna Pihl or any of its characters.

Anna had once suspected him of lying to her, suspected him, based on that fact, to be cheating on her - Because he can lie, then he can damn well play up, too. Because of the things Laura had said, that he'd said to Anna, and Anna had recognised and thought, Yep, this guy's had it. But of course Laura would have known such things, he'd told them to her, too. They'd been together for five years! But maybe Laura had had a point that she'd found too hard to bring out, too hard to articulate, or perhaps because she'd been so sick. She'd told Anna that he was sick, and, he wondered, was he? Boarding school had caused him to become guarded about his feelings, but had he become so guarded as to guard them even from himself, to lie to himself when he felt the need called for it?

When he'd been kicking that bastard who'd killed Laura, the bastard who'd tried to kill Anna, he'd just thought, In my own way, I'm probably sick, too; in my own way, I probably deserve what you're getting now, but it's not me who's going to be getting it, it's you, you maniac. But he'd gotten something that was too late for that other guy, he reflected now.

He'd gotten a wake up call.

He could never hurt someone the way that guy had, but he could hurt someone through his coldness, through his sudden lack of emotion, through abruptly feeling overwhelmed and needing to, by any means possible, just get out. He'd done that with Laura - he hadn't dug deeper - and now he was just that little bit frightened he'd do the same with Anna.

Don't be stupid, he admonished himself, Anna's not insane; if she doesn't think it's working for her, she'll get out whilst the going's good. You couldn't hurt her if you tried, she's too smart for that, but you could hurt yourself, you could be lonely and miserable for it the rest of your life. If you feel something for her, lad, you'd best damn well show it before you lose her!

Laura's death had been a tragic accident, but tragic accidents happened all the time, and if one person was going to take the blame for them all onto themselves, well, they'd explode, he told himself, they wouldn't be able to handle it. Perhaps he might have handled things differently, but hindsight was always 20/20.

Laura had been sick; he'd tried to reach her, hadn't he?, and he'd failed. Because she'd been sick, not for lack of trying, not because he was sick. If he was, if his disaffection was a sickness, then it hadn't been the overall hinging factor in Laura's death. That fucking bastard's sickness had! The sickness that told him to hurt women the way he did! If it was even a sickness, Marting thought. The guy had liked it, hadn't he? So maybe it wasn't a sickness; maybe it had began that way and become something more, or maybe it had never really been a real sickness, maybe it had always been a conscious choice and the guy was just that fucked up!

Thinking that, he wished he'd kicked the guy some more; he wished he'd given him something to think about: You're not having fun now, are you, mate? You fucking sick bastard!

Still, he couldn't dwell on all of that.

For the moment, he could only feel an overwhelming elation that he had Anna, that he wasn't alone; that he had someone to love.

It wasn't like he was replacing Laura because she was dead and he felt messed up and responsible and a million other things; this thing with Anna was because he felt something for Anna, something genuine, it was because of Anna, not because of him!

It was like Anna was calling out to him, and he was only more than willing to answer that call.